We Take A Wild Ride In the New Honda Talon Sport SxS
Growing up in (formerly) rural Georgia, we had dirt bikes, Dad had Triumphs, and we owned a dune buggy. Or more accurately, a dirt & woods buggy. Dad built it from a VW Bug chassis, welded a roll cage, and mounted a huge metal beer keg as a gas tank behind the seats. He used it as his deer hunting buggy, for dragging trees around our 3+ acres of property, and often strapped us boys in for bounces through the woods in the forest behind our home. My uncle Jim had one for a time, with the glittery, curvy fiberglass body many of us remember from the 60s-70s shows like “The Monkeys” among others.
My brother Rick and me, sliding around the back yard in Pop’s old buggy. ATTGATT was not a thing yet.
Recently I was given the opportunity by American Flat Track and Honda Powersports to take a ride in a modern version of those old buggys, a Honda Talon 1000X-4 side-by-side. At the Dixie Speedway round of the AFT season, they gave me the chance to not only experience a ride in one of these beasts, but we would run several hot laps around the track to experience the thrill of powering and sliding it across the Georgia red clay.
Not your pappy’s old buggy, for sure. Who could pass up a wild ride like that??
Running wide open around this old Southern dirt track in this modern-day race buggy was a wild ride indeed.
The Honda Talon Sport rolls with a 999cc inline twin, the same mill found in the Honda Africa Twin. But with some serious “performance enhancements.” Roller-tip rocker arms in the valve train reduces engine friction, facilitates higher, faster revs, and makes for more efficient engine operation and power. It sports a more high-lift, longer duration camshaft, an offset dual-pin crankshaft, and 46mm throttle bore, which is both felt and heard when “putting the pedal to the metal.” Just a few of the upgrades the Talon gets.
The Talon can be run as an automatic, with the shift column on the floor, or as in the case with our spin around the track, manual paddle shifters up on either side of the steering column. The Talon rolls 4WD or 2WD, with an all-new “Sport Mode” for even more adrenaline.
And what an adrenaline rush it was. Richie Morris was our “wrist,” the director of the Factory Honda Singles Flat Track team, and former AMA Superbike racer. Yeah, this promised to be quite the ride.
Check out the ride via some onboard footage, courtesy of Honda Powersports and AFT. Still doesn’t fully capture the thrill ride this was.
Okay, true, we’re a motorcycle media. This is clearly not a motorcycle. “Stay in your wheelhouse” some might assert. And we will, rest assured. But this was too cool an opportunity to pass on, and too much fun not to share with you. Besides, you’ve read plenty about each one of us in our scribblings across the past couple of years, so we hope you’ll indulge us from time to time. This modern day “dune buggy ride” gave me a childhood thrill like I wasn’t expecting.
If you might be interested in more on this crazy fun machine, have a look here-
*Photos and footage by American Flat Track & Honda Powersports. Except of course, the old Brooks buggy.